As you know, the depths of the COVID economic crisis are rapidly eclipsing what we saw in the financial crisis of 2008. One of the most devastating legacies of that crisis is that it was one of the largest transfers of wealth in this country’s history. And that wealth loss was experienced most greatly in Black and Latinx communities. As you also know, this transfer of wealth happens most prominently when people lose their businesses and when they lose their homes.
Had the CARES act relief been equity focused, we would expect for the COVID economic recovery resources to also have been available to BIPOC communities. But this has not been the case, for example, of the data that is available on PPP loans, we know that only 2% of the businesses that received a loan were black owned and only 6% were Latinx. We also know that the major banks who administered this relief earned at least $18 billion in fees.
Now imagine that we recreate systems so that the relief is dispersed first to the communities that need it the most. A State Bank of the People/ A State Public Bank would establish this much needed infrastructure in California so that recovery dollars are dispersed quickly and are available promptly to protect vulnerable communities from losing their homes, their livelihoods and their generational wealth over and over again.
In addition, a State Public Bank would also democratize finance in California by investing in people over profits. It would create access to capital for BIPOC communities that have been left out by Wall Street banks. CRC invites you to join a conversation to explore a new kind of financial institution, one that is owned by the People of California. Join us to explore this alternative to the extractive economy we contend with now.